Implementing energy storage initiatives to develop renewable energies and micro-grids is one of the 10 commitments taken by Schneider Electric, a provider of energy management and automation solutions, at the recent Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21). And reducing global warming means transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energies, while harnessing the potential of renewable energies. This calls for new ways of storing energy.
To date, electricity grids have not enabled new energy sources to be efficiently integrated since the available wind or solar power has not necessarily matched consumption at any given time. The solution for mitigating the risk of power cuts has been to use back-up systems, such as fossil fuel (especially oil) generators, as it has been the case at server farms.
The new EcoBlade from Schneider Electric is an efficient, scalable form of energy storage designed to meet this challenge, providing energy reserves for times when electricity is most needed. Its applications range from a single home to commercial, IT, and industrial to the entire grid.
EcoBlade is a flexible energy storage system powered by Li-ion batteries. EcoBlade consists of blades the size of a 30″ flat screen, weighing under 25 kilograms (or 55.1 pounds). Each blade contains a smart connected battery module and is ready to use in standalone mode.
The blades may be used in racks connected to grids, data centers, buildings, or secondary electric power stations with much larger storage needs. At the highest level, the blades can be integrated into containers to provide multi-MWh and complementary energy management services for the entire grid.
Each EcoBlade is integrated into the ecosystem of Schneider Electric solutions for electricity, relying in particular on the StruxureWare software suite of cloud-based integrated service modules. StruxureWare collects and manages weather and operational data, optimizing energy performance across the entire chain, from the generation source (such as solar panels or wind turbines) to deliver cost-effective energy storage and consumption.
EcoBlade will be available in 2016, with a targeted price of below $500 per kWh.